“God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” Max Lucado
We arrived in Rock Sound Eleuthera just before another front crossed our path. In hindsight we should have anchored better but we felt we could endure a little rough waters to be set for week here in Rock Sound near the dinghy dock. The winds and waters were rough as we spent a few days on the boat waiting out the weather. As the seas began to calm down and our swinging and rocking became less and less we prepared to explore Rock Sound.
In an article titled. The Men Who Built Rock Sound, Eleuthera In A Pre-Independent Bahamas 1940. We learn of the three men who helped make Rock sound and southern Eleuthera. From the article
Rock Sound, Eleuthera was once known as Wreck Sound. It was called Wreck Sound during the ferocious pirate years when untold numbers of ships found themselves literally wrecked in pieces in the shallow waters. Over a few hundred years, suffering under the infliction of inflection in pronunciation, Wreck Sound became Rock Sound. The pre-independence development vision for Rock Sound began in an era of stagnation, brutal poverty and a level of primitiveness which crippled the social development of the inhabitants of the Out Islands of The Bahamas.
Then enter three men: Austin T. Levy, Arthur Vining Davis, Juan Trippe.
These are names which should be carved indelibly in historical economic and business journals of the Bahamas. They were the dreamers and developers of Rock Sound, in the pre-independence era of the Bahamas.
1936 to 1938 – AUSTIN T. LEVY CREATES HATCHET BAY FARMS: Austin T. Levy, was an American wool mill owner from Rhode Island and a winter resident of many years, in Nassau. In 1936, Austin Levy purchased some 2,000 acres to embark on a venture to bring agricultural development back to Eleuthera. That venture became Hatchet Bay Farms.
Another man, Arthur Vining Davis, a millionaire industrialist, who made his money in aluminium, saw Rock Sound, Eleuthera, and fell in love with the land, and its potential. Davis would also purchase 6,000 acres in Rock Sound, Eleuthera. Little did the 74-year-old Davis realise that this 6,000 acres and his development of it, would survive and prosper beyond anything he could have imagined in 1940. Just seven months after Arthur Vining Davis had purchased 6,000 acres in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, the 74-year-old tycoon embarked on an extensive agricultural development. Along with American Austin Levy, the pair began farming and livestock developments to benefit not only the local Eleuthera market, but mostly for export to New Providence and across the other Out Islands.
At his death, JUAN TRIPPE – FOUNDER OF PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS BUYS ARTHUR VINING DAVIS’S INTEREST IN ROCK SOUND & COTTON BAY 1959. One of the more interesting things about the man who bought Arthur Vining Davis’s interest in Rock Sound and Cotton Bay, was that his name came about because his mother thought she was having a baby girl. She intended to name Juanita, hence the name Juan. Other than that, Juan Trippe did exactly what Vining Davis did in 1940, he took a chance on an island paradise, when others were afraid to. Read the entire article here:
One of the first places in Rock Sound we planned to visit was the Ocean Hole. Emmett had shared it with us in Hatchett Bay, but first some local cuisine, ok maybe it was a just a cheeseburger. Louis Delights had the cheapest and best burger around with a view of Rock Sound Harbour. Now off to see the Ocean Hole and explore the town.
This world-renowned blue hole, an inland ocean/swimming hole, is located on the southern edge of Rock Sound. And rumored to have healing powers. A seemingly bottomless natural limestone formation, it is said to have been explored by Jacques Cousteau. Ocean Hole is filled with tropical fish who will sidle up and greet visitors. The fish that live in Ocean Hole were caught and put there by local residents. There is no fishing allowed, but you can swim and feed the fishes.
Of course, we had to take a swim and although the water was brackish and not very clear some of the fish were larger than we saw in many places we snorkeled. They obviously wanted food from us. Finally it was time to dive off the wall. Not sure about the healing powers but it was a nice swim after days on the boat.
We ended the evening by snagging some hot homemade Bahamian bread as the sun went down. Our first taste and we were impressed but we had not met Momma yet. You will meet her soon when we cross over to the Exumas.
Our final destination in Rock Sound was to visit the Spider Cave also know as the Cathedral Cave. This small but impressive cave is located behind a small ocean hole just south of Rock Sound. The short rock-lined trail to the cave goes around the left side of the ocean hole, then continues beyond it to a slanted wooden ladder. The cave itself is fairly short, but the roots cascading down from the trees on top of the cave, along with the majestic rays of light cast through the ceiling on are quite breathtaking. We enjoyed exploring the cave, watching the bats watch us and of course batman needed a picture in the bat cave.
While in Rock Sound we met Chris and Erin on Barefeet from the Boston, MA area. They gave us so much insight to the Bahamas and where to go and what to see. Erin also taught me the best and easy go to sundowner appetizers. We enjoyed hanging out and laughing as the sun went down and were fortunate to run into them again in Georgetown, Exumas.
Another successful experience comes to an end. In Our next video we will explore the entire Eleuthera island by car, but AFter exploring the spider cave we were preparing to leave Eleuthera for the Exumas. We did not drive to the far southern end of the island but got a peek as we crossed through the Davis Channel which I am sure is named for Arthur Davis and saw one of the few marinas at Cape Eleuthera.
As I just shared our next video will explore Eleuthera from the Glass Window Bridge to Rock Sound by car. Yes Dee will drive on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road. Another New adventure!
A Top Favorite Bahamas Anchorage
"Smell the sea, and feel the sky let your soul and spirit fly" - Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
We head down to Alabaster Bay which is a quick trip from Hatchett Bay about 11 miles from anchor up to anchor down. We have read and seen so many videos about this anchorage and are excited to get our first glimpse in person. It is a beautiful area. An Eleuthera website describes it this way:
"Alabaster Beach is the quintessential Caribbean beach. The shallow sandy beach extends for almost an entire mile and is perfect for wading, swimming and shelling. This beach is typically very calm and the shallow water makes it an excellent beach for children. While you are there stop for lunch or a cocktail at Cocodimama.
To get to Alabaster Beach, also called Receivers Beach turn at the Cocodimama sign (one mile south of GHB or just under 7 miles north of Governors Harbour). Follow the road just past Cocodimama, as it veers to the left. Find a place to park and head to the beach."
After dropping the anchor and settling into these calm waters we took the paddle boards out to explore and check out the beach. The resort mentioned above known as Cocodimamas located in the bay seemed to be closed although well kept. I decided it looked like a beautiful spot for a wedding. The bar was not open so no offshore drinks for us. We were able to do some shelling and found a starfish on the beach. Watching the sun go down here was one of our favorite ways to end the day.
The next morning we set out to the abandoned Navy Base across from the bay on the Atlantic Side and to get our first peek at some pink sand. According to the website above here is some history on the US Navy Base we visited.
"In 1950 the U. S. began building a naval base on Eleuthera as a demonstration SOSUS (sound surveillance system) to track soviet submarines. A few years later the base was greatly expanded and it became part of the Air Force Missile Test Centers Atlantic missile range. In coordination with eleven other stations around the Caribbean they were responsible for long range monitoring of rocket and guided missile launches, etc. for the Air Force, Army and Navy. In 1980 it was officially decommissioned and abandoned. Now all that remains is the abandoned buildings and overgrown vegetation."
Inside the base a road took us down to a beautiful unspoiled beach. Yes, there is a pink tint but not what you expect or see photo shopped online. How does the sand get pink?
The sand gets its hue from thousands of broken coral pieces, shells, and calcium carbonate materials left behind by foraminifera (tiny marine creatures with red and pink shells) that live in the coral reefs that surround the beach.
After explore we did a photo shoot of Journey from the beach and from Shelby. These new pics are now part of our youtube opening and closing. We met some Americans vacationing on the beach and helped a recuse a stranded conch. Just as we got in from snorkeling a stingray swam past Journey but at least we got a glimpse from the deck. We watch our last sunset here as we will be heading out to Rock Sound to visit the Ocean Hole and so much more and continue to hide from the winds. Yes, more wind is coming.
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